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August 2021

Crystal Palace v Arsenal 26 October. See what the ref is going to do before he does it!

Crystal Palace v Arsenal Saturday 26 October  The Officials


  • Referee – Chris Foy
  • Assistants – P Kirkup and M Wilkes.
  • 4th Official – M Oliver


Chris Foy has done three premiership games this year handing out 11 yellow , but no red cards.

He has been in the premier league since 2001/2 (longer than everyone bar Michael Jones) so should have plenty of experience.  He was born in 1962 so is now somewhat elderly for a first class referee and, if I remember Walter’s words correctly, would have been retired forcibly from most other leagues in Europe.

From 2002 to 2007 he was on the FIFA list.  His County Association is Liverpool.  Interestingly he was one of the few referees with a faultless game (Newcastle v W Brom. on 28 October) – you didn’t suppose it was an Arsenal game did you – so on his day he is still capable of getting it right.

I can find no data relating to games he has refereed featuring Crystal Palace.

Last year he did 4 Arsenal games all at the Emirates, without covering himself in glory in any of them as far as I can recollect.

Arsenal v Sunderland

At the start of the season (18 August) we had him for the 0-0 home draw v Sunderland 74% overall weighted score, bias against 92/8 but in which he made no wrong key decisions (second yellows, red cards, penalties and goals).  Noteworthty points were :-

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  • Minute 33 – Foul given for high foot by Arsenal player but it was away from opponent and shouldn’t have been given
  • Minute 41 – Arsenal goal kick should have been a corner as ball came off Arsenal player.
  • Minute 56 – Obstruction on Diaby not given should have been free kick to Arsenal.
  • Minute 65 – Larsson dived to win a free kick when he lost the ball near his own penalty area. Should have been booked and a free kick to Arsenal.  Was given as a foul against Arsenal.  Scored as 5 incorrect decisions.
  • Minute 66 – Sunderland player stuck out an arm to block the ball, should have been a free kick to Arsenal – nothing given

His performances in the two halves were 82% in the first half dropping to 68% in the second.  I can’t recall anything he did having a major impact on the outcome of the game

Arsenal v Newcastle

We then had him for the visit by Newcastle in the crazy game on 29 December (7-3) where he did well with a 90% overall rating. Only five wrong decisions in the game, none significant, three against Arsenal and two against Newcastle so no meaningful bias in this game.  The noteworthy points were :-

  • Minute 19 – Theo Walcott scores a goal (1-0)
  • Minute 42 – Demba Ba scores a goal (1-1)
  • Minute 49 – Oxlade Chamberlain scores a goal (2-1)
  • Minute 57 – Great advantage given from the ref as Walcott is one on one with the last defender but he shoots wide
  • Minute 58 – Sylvain Marveaux scores a goal (2-2)
  • Minute 63 – Lucas Podolski scores a goal (3-2)
  • Minute 68 – Demba Ba scores a goal (3-3)
  • Minute 72 – Theo Walcott scores a goal (4-3)
  • Minute 83 – Giroud scores a goal (5-3)
  • Minute 86 – Giroud scores a goal (6-3)
  • Minute 91 – Theo Walcott scores a goal (7-3). “Ref signalled advantage after Walcott had scored but he showed no reaction when Walcott was fouled. You can give advantage in the penalty area but I’m sure he wasn’t going to give anything at all based on the way he just stood there without reaction”.  Fortunately Walcott just got up again and stuffed it into the goal for his hat-trick.

A fabulous game of football between two teams who both looked likely to score, neither of whom could defend.  Newcastle visibly tired at the end which made the difference.  His weighted scores for the two halves were 97/84.

Arsenal v Stoke

We had him again in February for our home game v Stoke (1-0) 63% overall weighted score, bias against 78/22 and in which he made 3 wrong key decisions.  Noteworthy points :-

  • Minute 46 – Walcott tripped and pulled. At least the third clear foul from the same player on Walcott.  Should be booked by now but nothing given.
  • Minute 51 – Wilkinson pulls Walcott to ground when he tries to start a run.  Deliberate off the ball foul and should be booked but not given.
  • Minute 64 – Wilkinson swung arm into face of Walcott deliberately.  For the second time the assistant signalled nothing and the ref missed the off the ball foul.  Again should have been booking (NB not noted as a second yellow in the review).
  • Minute 76 – Andy Wilkinson receives a yellow card. His “umpteenth” and finally he gets a card. It is unbelievable that Wilkinson is still on the pitch by now he could and should have received at least two other yellow cards by now.”  Key decision missed second yellow card.
  • Minute 77 – Podolski scores from the resulting free kick (1-0)
  • Minute 88 – Ryan Shawcross comes sliding in a frontal tackle towards Koscielny who made a sliding towards the ball not in the direction of a player. Shawcross plants his studs from his outstretched leg in the weaker parts of the male anatomy. Should have been sent off for a violent foul.
  • Minute 91 – Arteta comes in wild against Owen, ref gives no foul. Should have been given. Arteta should have been booked for his foul.  Owen tries to punch Arteta with his fist, should have been given a red card. It doesn’t matter if the punch hits the target or not. Even an attempt to punch another player is a red card.

So two or three Stoke players should have been sent off.  The referee’s score for the first hals was 74%, for the second 55%.

Arsenal v Reading

Our last game with him in charge was the Arsenal v Reading game on 30 March (4-1) overall weighted score 67% bias against 72/28 in which he made 4 wrong key decisions.  Noteworthy points :-

  • Minute 10 – Gervinho scores a goal (1-0), was level with the defender to the far right so correctly ruled onside.
  • Minute 17 – Giroud plays the ball past the keeper and gets bundled over by the keeper.  Should have been a penalty and red card but nothing given (2 key decisions in one incident).
  • Minute 34 – Ligertwood  sliding tackle missing the ball hitting the man from behind should have been a yellow card.
  • Minute 47 – Santi Cazorla scores a goal (2-0)
  • Minute 58 – Laurent Koscielny concedes a corner kick but Pogrebnyak was offside when the ball was delivered and so a free kick to Arsenal should have been given.  Reading almost scored from the incorrectly given corner.
  • Minute 66 – Olivier Giroud scores a goal (3-0)
  • Minute 67 – Hal Robson-Kanu scores a goal (3-1)
  • Minute 76 – Penalty given for a foul on Oxlade-Chamberlain but the foul was inches outside the penalty area.  Neither the penalty nor Arteta’s goal (4-1) from the spot kick were correct (2 key decisions in one incident), Mariappa should have been booked for the foul but wasn’t.  Yes we call wrong decisions when they favour Arsenal as well as those that don’t.
  • Minute 86 – Jobi McAnuff commits third foul in a few minutes, he had been given a warning after the second and should have been booked.

His scores in this game for the two halves were similar at 70 and 65%, but he did make an absolute howler in Minute 17 not sending off the reading keeper and giving Arsenal a penalty.  He did give us a compensating penalty in minute 76 but got that one wrong as well, it should have been a free kick just outside the area.

Going back to 2011/12 – Untold reviewed 8 games being 41% of the total.  His basic competency numbers were 68% Un-weighted (66% weighted) of all calls were correct.

Breaking the numbers down 19% of goals were wrong, as were 8% of offsides, 32% of other decisions, 40% of fouls, 50% of yellow cards and over 71% of red cards.  So not terribly brilliant.  Chelsea were his most disliked team, followed by Arsenal then Swansea and Spurs.  Stoke were his favourite, followed by QPR, Norwich and United.

01 Feb 2012 Bolton Wanderers 0 – 0 Arsenal – Overall weighted score 69%, Bias against 26/74.  Walter’s summary read :-

“The final score of the ref is just around 70%.  This is close to his usual average in fact. So he just did his game in his own way. The good thing is that he didn’t get the important decisions very wrong. Apart from handing out the yellow cards. The Vermaelen yellow card was a joke as it was a clear dive from M. Davies who should have received a yellow card for his dive.”

M. Davies also escaped another yellow card when he came in and planted his foot on the ankle of Arteta. He didn’t play the ball at that time and the ref rightly called the foul but should have been a card because it was dangerous.”

From 2010/11 we have a review of the Arsenal 2 – 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers game.  Walter gave him an overall 50% score (we must remember that the reviews were far simpler in those early days and direct comparisons with more recent results are not possible).  Two shouts for penalties were not given, one for each team, neither decisions was correct – should have been one spot kick for each team.  He called most of the fouls correctly but was lenient with giving cards.  Zubar should have been sent off, and if he had been consistent with cards he would have saved some players from some dangerous kicks.

So in the six reviewed games, four wins and two draws.  One good performance getting a 90% rating, the rest significantly worse.  In general we were able to get results with him in charge despite his bias and inability to correctly award penalties.

The one other thing we must keep in mind is that he is normally a home referee.  In fact in the season 2011/12 he was the ref with the highest home bias so that may be slightly worrying for Arsenal as the away team.

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7 comments to Crystal Palace v Arsenal 26 October. See what the ref is going to do before he does it!

  • Nizam

    There are powers out to stop Arsenal winning the epl which they almost did in 2008. Very simple. Eduardo was in peak form and scoring goals for fun.He was deliberately injured and the conniving ref gave Birmingham 2 inexplicable penalties.Now tell me why MU strikers were never seriously maimed?
    As for Palace game it could be a repeat of the 2008 Birmingham game or the 50th game when Reyes was deliberately kicked and no action taken.For ally you know our new german guy could be kicked . You never know.
    I will really believe the gunners have a genuine chance of winning the epl if the ref takes action aginst the hatchet men.

  • Hey gunners isaw some sewer rats recently but as I said before they will be in their sewers sooner lather later.
    I think we are so smart/superior for both Crystal Palace and Chris foy we should score 7 past them to prove to the doubters that we have what it takes to be a top top team.
    I saw the Germanys and I know you saw them too,its high time we shoot out of the eighteen yard box instead of passing to the goal.
    This might be our season but we have to do what we have to do hussle,tussle and shoot only then will we be up there come May.

    Lets go Gunners

  • magaon

    We need to approach tomorrow like a cup final. It’s making slip ups in these sort of games that derail momentum, confidence drops, performances suffer and it becomes more difficult to get that next win. With their manager’s departure the club is a mess. Winning is imperative, no excuses.

  • mike

    we need to play tomorrow ball like a wounded lion, by holding the ball and scoring more goals. With the pair of santi cazola, ozil, ramsey and flaminu, rosisky. I remain a Gunners Fan forever……………… Up Gunners 4 life. One more kudos to mr. Wenger.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope we play well and with pace to counter whatever Palace put out. If they mass their defence , which probably they’ll do,we have to be patient to break them down .
    A 3-0 win for us .
    Up the Gunners !

  • blacksheep63

    I would disagree with Mike, we need to play Palace like the footballing side we are not like a big cat. Lions have never had a good record in world football; more often than not they are lazy (preferring to sleep most of the game and only getting interested when the ‘hunger’ takes them). Even more problematically their claws have a tendency to puncture the ball and deflected own goals off their thick and wayward tails have seen many a Lions XI undone. Nor are they very good team players – the females are slightly better at this but the male are far too self absorbed to think about their teammates. Its a bit like have 11 centre forwards; you can’t win like that.
    Come on you (human) Gunners!

  • Micko

    Minute 91 – Arteta comes in wild against Owen, ref gives no foul. Should have been given. Arteta should have been booked for his foul. Owen tries to punch Arteta with his fist, should have been given a red card. It doesn’t matter if the punch hits the target or not. Even an attempt to punch another player is a red card.

    Could Owen’s commentary today have anything to do with what happened in the game mentioned above ?